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Mayor Adams, City Planning Director Garodnick Unveil Planning Framework to Guide Continued Revitalization of Downtown Brooklyn, Fort Greene as Vibrant, 24/7 Neighborhoods

May 8, 2023

"Eds and Meds" Framework Outline Strategies to Promote Inclusive Growth, Family-Sustaining Jobs, Affordable Housing, High-Quality Public Spaces for Brooklyn's Largest Economic Hub

Framework Builds on "New" New York Action Plan Recommendations to Reimagine Commercial Districts, Create Inclusive Growth

New York – New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Department of City Planning (DCP) Director and City Planning Commission (CPC) Chair Dan Garodnick today unveiled the Downtown Brooklyn and Fort Greene "Eds and Meds" Framework, which will promote and guide the area's economic recovery and continued inclusive growth as a vibrant, 24/7 neighborhood. The framework, presented to the CPC today, identifies opportunities to create new housing, including affordable housing; family-sustaining jobs, including in the neighborhood's core industries of education ("eds") and health care ("meds"); safer streets; and high-quality public space. In particular, it prioritizes leveraging city-owned sites for public space improvements and strengthening connections to nearby New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) campuses, including Farragut Houses, Ingersoll Houses, and Whitman Houses.

The presentation of the framework comes as Long Island University and the Brooklyn Hospital Center consider development plans. With this guiding document, the administration will work to ensure the future development of these large and important Brooklyn institutions supports the local community and the city's priorities. Downtown Brooklyn is the largest employment hub in the city outside of Manhattan and the fourth largest in the city. The neighborhood struggled during the pandemic – with foot traffic down 12 percent in 2020 and eight percent in 2022, relative to 2019 levels – but is recovering strongly, with consumer retail spending up 20 percent in 2022 over pre-pandemic levels.

"New Yorkers are counting on our local neighborhoods to be the economic engine that creates jobs and opportunity, and the Eds and Meds Framework lays the groundwork for exactly that," said Mayor Adams. "Our administration is not waiting around – we are working proactively with communities to outline key goals and identify priorities to deliver inclusive growth that makes our neighborhoods safer, fairer, and more prosperous. This is just the beginning, and our team looks forward to continuing to work with residents and community partners to accelerate Downtown Brooklyn and Fort Greene's recovery."

A view of key sites in Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Credit: New York City Department of City Planning
A view of key sites in Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Credit: New York City Department of City Planning

"The Eds and Meds Framework delivers on one of our core priorities in the administration's economic blueprint: Investing in downtowns and central business districts across the five boroughs, like Downtown Brooklyn," said Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer. "Through identifying investments across infrastructure, health services, and jobs, Eds and Meds is setting the stage for more inclusive development that will both support 24/7 activation and improve access to critical services for the many communities that live and work in this vital part of Brooklyn."

"The Eds and Meds Framework lays out a comprehensive, proactive path for the continued growth and success of Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and Fort Greene," said DCP Director and CPC Chair Garodnick. "As we recover and adapt to a rapidly evolving economy, we are laser-focused on ensuring that these job hubs and local communities – including Whitman, Ingersoll, and Farragut Houses – are healthy, vibrant, and connected. We will continue to work with the Brooklyn community alongside this framework to guide future public and private investments and land use as we shape our ever-evolving city in the years to come."

"The Eds and Meds Framework is a vital part of bringing the 'New' New York action plan to life in Brooklyn," said New York City Economic Development Corporation president and CEO Andrew Kimball. "This strategy will build a stronger, more vibrant, 24/7 live-work hub in the heart of Brooklyn by advancing public realm improvements, affordable housing, and job growth. We look forward to continuing to work with DCP and all our partners in government to implement the 'New' New York action plan, leverage city assets for economic growth, and build a more inclusive economy for all New Yorkers."

"This holistic planning approach will be instrumental to creating safer streets and high-quality public space in the Downtown Brooklyn and Fort Greene communities," said New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. "We applaud Mayor Adams and our sister agencies for prioritizing public space improvements and strengthening community connections that will be supported by the work DOT has already done to transform streets in these neighborhoods with plazas, shared streets, as well as bus and bike improvements."

The Eds and Meds Framework builds on the "Making New York Work for Everyone" action plan with recommendations from the "New" New York panel that Mayor Adams and New York Governor Kathy Hochul convened last year, focused on reimagining and revitalizing the city's commercial districts. It also builds on DCP's renewed focus on community outreach, including with the agency's new Community Planning and Engagement division created in February 2023.

The framework's release marks an early step in the Adams administration's planning efforts around Brooklyn's central business district, which includes job hubs in Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard, as well as connections to the rest of the borough, the city, and the region through the area's exceptional transit assets like Atlantic Terminal. Anchor institutions, such as universities and hospitals, are major economic drivers in business districts across the city and especially in Downtown Brooklyn, where anchor institutions have accounted for 20 percent of job growth. Arriving ahead of development proposals expected in the area, the Eds and Meds Framework reflects the Adams administration's commitment to proactive planning and community engagement to develop shared goals and will serve as a valuable tool for residents and community organizations as development proposals in the surrounding area move forward.

The framework will supplement the existing public review process and will include further opportunities for local communities and stakeholders to make their voices heard on specific rezoning or development proposals

"The Eds and Meds Framework will drive economic development in Downtown Brooklyn by addressing both our desperate need for housing and jobs head on," said Regina Myer, president, Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. "This approach to neighborhood planning strengthens connections between key Brooklyn neighborhoods and will position our existing and future institutions for success. We look forward to working with the city on building out this vision for our Downtown Brooklyn and the borough more widely."

"Reimagining economic development through smart design puts our city and borough at the cutting edge," said Randy Peers, president and CEO, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. "The Eds and Meds Framework aims to boost jobs and improvements in urban spaces and housing for Downtown Brooklyn. Our economic prosperity depends on our ability to find innovative paths forward, and I commend DCP for leading the way. This framework includes recommendations that can benefit small business owners driving our borough's economic center."

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